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Paints and plasters that clear the air for interior comfort

2 Oct 2017

Internal paints and plasters have an all-important role to play in a building’s aesthetic make-up. These materials are also known to affect interior air quality, which in-turn could have a detrimental influence on the occupier’s health, or in the case of a commercial building, their productivity. This feature looks at available paint and plaster systems that help create comfortable environments and in doing so; enhance the health and wellbeing of the occupiers.

It’s estimated we spend at least 90% of our lives indoors, therefore the creation of interiors that excel in terms of occupier comfort and wellbeing ought to be of the highest priority. 

The quality of the indoor air we breathe can affect the way we work, rest and play. Pollutants in buildings, commercial and domestic range, from volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and emissions from decorating and cleaning products, to gases such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone and carbon monoxide, particulate matter and fibres, and biological particles such as bacteria, fungi and pollen. 

The better the indoor air quality, the happier and more productive we are at work and school, and the more content and healthier we feel at home. For example, airborne VOCs and reduced oxygen percentages can interrupt sleep cycles and have a negative impact on the quality of rest. 

Outside Influence Achieving an optimum, stable humidity and room temperature can make a significant contribution to a person’s commercial or residential wellbeing, therefore it is first essential to consider a building’s wall structure, as what happens on the outside of a building greatly influences events inside. 

Well-insulated walls with a high thermal storage offer heat emissions in winter and a cooling effect in the summer to help improve a property’s feel-good factor. Good thermal insulation also ensures a balanced wall temperature, which prevents draughts. If the wall temperature is too low, the room needs to be heated to excess in order to ensure that its occupants are comfortable. 

If the temperature varies, this generates airflows across the floor, wall and ceiling, which can result in unpleasant build-ups of condensation on cool wall surfaces - thermal bridges; window reveals - as well as an increased risk of mildew. It is also advisable to move cupboards away from exterior walls in order to optimise air circulation.

In terms of internal paints and plasters, these should be of sufficient calibre to enhance interior air quality, ensuring it’s not too dry or moist and pollutant-free. Baumit’s healthy living product range helps stabilise the humidity level of indoor air, quickly absorbing excessive moisture, storing it and, if necessary, quickly releasing it back into the indoor air. The result is a year-round interior climate which offers maximum comfort to the occupier.

Balancing Act Moisture-regulating, mineral based and free from pollutants, products within the Baumit Klima range solely regulate the interior climate; being lime-based, these perfectly complement natural building materials. 

Containing a microporous texture, which forms a huge climate-regulating surface with tiny pores, the plasters regulate moisture in a similar way to the human lung. Compared with other building materials, Baumit Klima plasters absorb a large quantity of moisture within a short time, and when room humidity is low, gradually release the moisture back into the surrounding environment. This leads to a significant reduction of humidity peaks in the room and ensures a pleasant and balanced indoor climate. As well as lime sand, which is the main raw material, the bonding agent, slaked lime, is also useful and effective. 

Due to the range’s climate-regulating properties, Baumit Klima plasters act as large moisture buffers and consistently ensure a balanced indoor climate, reducing the risk of mildew and mould. The plaster’s high pH value of 12-13 offers superb antimildew and anti-bacterial properties. In addition, Baumit Klima’s anti-static surface means it cannot gather fine dust. 

There is no doubting the significance of indoor air quality in creating interiors in which occupiers can live and work happily, healthily and productively. We breathe an estimated 11,000 litres of air per day, the majority of which will be contained within an interior environment, highlighting the importance of absorbing pollutant-free atmospheres with the potential to instigate and exacerbate long-term health issues. 

There is no clouding the fact: selecting interior paints and plasters which facilitate an ideal indoor climate will help us breathe easier.